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4 Ways to Plan Ahead With Your ChMS


A new year, new vision, and new initiatives. There’s no better time than now to start planning for all the Lord has placed on your heart for your ministry. As you plan, your Church Management Software (ChMS) is your best friend. If you don’t have a reliable and friendly all-in-one ChMS, it’s time to implement this resource. It will result in a fast return on investment.

As the name suggests, a ChMS is software specifically created for churches. Rather than using a variety of different software solutions, each with a different purpose, a ChMS brings everything together under one roof—so it all just works. FellowshipOne, for instance, is a leading ChMS created and supported by men and women with years of ministry experience. It includes accounting, communication, event planning, volunteer management, and much, much more.

With a good ChMS at your fingertips, here are four ways you can plan for 2020 with 20/20 vision:

#1 – Plan Ahead With Strategic Vision

To move forward with confidence, look back. Pull up the analytics pages in your ChMS and look at what worked and what didn’t. Ask questions such as:

  • What message series had the greatest attendance or greatest response?
  • Which small groups were well attended?
  • What events brought the most visitors?
  • Which causes stirred the most volunteers to action?
  • What times of year increased giving, and where can you expect slumps in the coming year?

While a good handle on the past won’t necessarily drive your directive, it can provide essential insight into how your church specifically resonates with your community—as well as your own members.

#2 – Plan Ahead With Goal Setting

Once you know your strengths and have settled on your vision for the new year, open up the church calendar and begin setting realistic benchmarks for achieving your goals throughout 2020. Make sure each goal is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound). Then, once your goals are set, break them down into smaller, bite-sized chunks.

Most importantly, assign the “goal chunks” to specific leadership staff. Then use your ChMS to schedule regular follow-up meetings to tune-in and reassess those goals throughout the year.

Goals could pertain to not only your overall vision but also individual departments and ministries. Also take time to set overall budget goals, attendance goals, and giving goals so your church keeps moving forward with the ability to support the organization as a whole.

#3 – Plan Ahead With Communication

Of course, any vision or goal sounds great in theory, but the key to successfully carrying out the vision is communication—both with your staff and with your congregation.

Plan out how you can use the extensive capabilities of your ChMS to schedule communications for every aspect of your vision, both internally and externally throughout the year. Your ChMS should be able to help you communicate through a variety of avenues, reaching people in the way they most desire.

Email newsletters will keep your congregation “in the know.” Voicemail broadcasts can deliver information widely and quickly with a personal touch. And your church app notifications are a great way to send out alerts and important reminders. Naturally, these avenues should all be supported by your church’s website, online event calendar, and app—all smoothly connected by your single, reliable ChMS database.

#4 – Plan Ahead With Pledges

Finally, once you’ve set your goals and are ready to move forward, remember that you’re not in this alone. Your congregation is likely waiting to hear the church’s vision and goals for 2020 so they can have an invested part in what you’re doing throughout your city.

Share the vision with your members and encourage them to pledge support, both through finances and through volunteering. With a good ChMS, this normally complicated step becomes a piece of cake. Members should be able to make their pledges online, right on the church’s website, where they can also follow their progress to fulfilling their pledges. Meanwhile, church staff can receive immediate insight into what aspects of the vision are speaking to their members and what needs more nurturing.

Put Your Church Software to Work for You

If you have a ChMS, set aside some time to dive in and use its insights to plan ahead for the new year, set your goals, and enhance your communication.

If you’ve never used a good ChMS, you might be surprised to discover everything it can do for you. Click here to watch a 3-minute overview video of FellowshipOne and schedule a no-obligation, personalized demo of our church management solution.

Head into 2020 with a clear vision and direction for the future. When the vision is clear, nothing is impossible.

For More Information on Using Your ChMS to its Full Potential, Read These Articles:

Using Your ChMS to Minister to Inactive Members

6 Ways Your Core Processes Can Be Improved With the Right ChMS

How to Leverage Powerful Church Management Software Integrations

9 Vital Church Management Software Features 

5 Signs It’s Time To Update Your Church Management Software

Scott Goodger
Scott Goodgerhttps://ministrybrands.com
Scott is a former FellowshipOne customer, Worship Leader, and IT Director. He joined FellowshipOne in 2011 and has worked with hundreds of churches around the country, implementing FellowshipOne and consulting with them on business processes and best practices. He is now the General Manager for FellowshipOne, serves weekly in his home church, and loves spending time with his family in the Dallas, TX area.


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